The Last Girls Standing by Jennifer Dugan is about two teenagers surviving a mass murder at a summer camp. Sloan was excited to start her new summer job as a counselor at a local summer camp. It was her chance to get away from her overbearing adoptive mother. At the camp, she meets another counselor there, Cherry. Cherry has everything going for her and is the center of attention at camp. Sloan finds herself drawn to the electric Cherry.
The pair find themselves bonding and are drawn to each other from the first few days of meeting. A few days into the camp session, a group of masked men stormed the summer camp and murdered everyone except for Cherry and Sloan. Months later, the Cherry and Sloan lean on each other as they process their traumatic experience.
Sloan is working with a professional to help her cope with the experience. Sloan’s mind has repressed the traumatic event and she doesn’t remember much from the night, other than what Cherry has told her. As Sloan begins her sessions in hopes of getting answers to what happened, she feels that there is something missing from her newly surfaced memory and that Cherry is keeping a secret from her. Sloan fears that Cherry might have been involved with the murders and isn’t just a survivor like she claims to be. Cherry claims that she doesn’t have any idea what Sloan is referring to and that she (Cherry) was lucky to have gotten out of the camp alive. Will Sloan be able to remember the events from that fateful night?
I was very excited to read the book when I saw the cover. It’s always the perfect time for a good horror or thriller. However, this book was an utter disappointment. The characters were all dull and boring. Even when Sloan found evidence that Cherry might be lying, she still went back to her. She kept acting like a defenseless child and would run into the arms of someone who might actually end up hurting her. The book goes on like this for a while and then the ending comes out of nowhere. The ending in itself was very confusing and I had a hard time understanding what was going on. I felt like the author didn’t know exactly how to end the book. It left so many unresolved questions and I felt like I read an incomplete book. I thought this was going to be a thriller or murder mystery but it was more about two teenagers dealing with trauma. The book could have been executed a bit better.